BARBICAN | April 2016
Split Britches undertook an initial period of development at the Barbican Centre in London for two weeks in April 2016 - gathering together elders from the UK and New York in the second week for a series of workshops on elder identity and 'buried desires'. The creative team began to draw from diverse material: the film Dr. Strangelove, research into nuclear proliferation, images of abandoned munitions, comedy duo sketches such as Nichols and May and articles on climate change.
GOVERNORS ISLAND | September 2016
Peggy and Lois were in residence on Governors Island, NY in 2014 when they first heard the phrase "unexploded ordnances" and started the journey of developing UXO. They returned to the island for three weeks, making a daily commute by ferry to occupy one of many old wooden houses (last used by the US Coast Guard). Mornings were devoted to creative writing and preparation for a showcase at La Mama ETC the next month, whilst afternoons were opened to the public. Visitors were invited to join Peggy and Lois in conversation, either indoors around a round table "Situation Room", or out on the veranda with a glass of lemonade for a genteel Porch Sitting. The team had also arranged several activities for members of the public to engage with, including a world map on which to locate your 'buried desire', a mindmap to add your definition of 'doomsday', and an accumulated list of 'rules for conversation' to contribute to the developing Situation Room protocol
The team were joined in New York by filmmaker Shelby Coley, who kindly created three Video Diaries (right) of the development on Governors Island and at La Mama ETC.
Collaborators: choreographer Stormy Brandenberger, filmmaker Claire Nolan, writer Hannah Maxwell, designer Jo Palmer and sound designer Vivian Stoll. This residency was supported by project manager Edythe Woolley, project assistants Ema Boswood, Alex Legge and Meg Hodgson, La Mama ETC and In Company Collective.
SKIRBALL CENTER | February 2017
Through support from the National Performance Network, Split Britches were able to take the next stage of UXO development to Los Angeles' Skirball Cultural Center for a week's residency. During this time, Lois hosted a series of Long Table conversations on age and anxiety: with docents at the Center, with LGBT+ elders at the LA LGBT Center, and performance students and faculty at UCLA. The two work-in-progress performances involved local volunteers and performers sourced from these groups.
Lois and Peggy continued their work with Hannah Maxwell and Jo Palmer, and were joined by design consultant Matt Delbridge from Victoria College of the Arts. This residency was supported by Alex Legge and In Company Collective.
You can read about the team's work in LA on the UXO blog.